Women advisers not attracting as many assets as male colleagues

Females in RIA channels especially coming up short

Jan 12, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

By Liz Skinner

Female financial advisers are not attracting an equal share of client assets compared with their male colleagues, and the picture looks especially bleak at RIAs, new data show.

The number of female financial advisers overall is slowly rising in the U.S., where today about 15.7% of advisers are women, according to a Cerulli Associates report released on Thursday. That's up from 7.9% in 2012 and 11.5% in 2014.

Female advisers at all different types of wealth management firms command about 14% of total client assets, the report found.

 (More: The time is ripe for female advisers looking for a change)

At registered investment advisers and hybrid firms, women are especially lagging.

About 7% of assets are managed by women at hybrid RIAs. In this channel, females represent about 12% of the adviser workforce, the Cerulli data show. At independent RIAs, women manage about 9% of assets and make up 13% of advisers.

The reason may have to do with female advisers with strong practices at wirehouse and national broker-dealers being slower than men to make the leap towards independence.

“Women advisers in the RIA channels may be newer and just getting into the industry,” said Howard Diamond, managing director and general counsel at recruiting firm Diamond Consultants Inc. “They also may be joining smaller firms and it's taking them longer to ramp up.”

Based on the pipeline at his adviser recruiting firm, though, he believes more experienced women advisers are poised to make the leap to create or join independent advisory firms.

“I think this year we'll see a larger influx of female advisers who have become frustrated with traditional firm structure and are looking for an entrepreneurial environment and quality of life things they may find lacking at larger firms,” Mr. Diamond said.

Women adviser representation and market share
Source: Cerulli Associates, The Cerulli Edge – U.S. Advisor Edition, 1Q 2017 Issue

The Cerulli research suggests women financial planners are faring best at banks.

Female advisers make up 32.2% of the bank advisers and manage about 29% of total assets, the report said.

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